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In: English and Literature

Submitted By kcurtis21
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The Predynastic Period in Egypt was broken up into 6 different cultures. The Bardarian people of the Bardarian culture lived in Upper Egypt and they were semi-nomadic people. They buried their dead on the outskirts of their small settlements and also conducted ceremonial burials. The deceased were sometimes buried with finely crafted jewelry, cloth, fur and the usually included a crafted figurine of a female fertility idol.
Female Figure is a Predynastic Egyptian sculpture from 3600-3200 B.C. made of ivory. The color of this sculpture is gray and it is held up by a platform and wire. It looks as if the figure is standing on its own. The figure has very few lines and looks very smooth. Although this sculpture is a female, she is not wearing clothes. You can tell that she is not wearing clothes because you can see what appears to be a belly button in the abdominal region and very small abnormal breasts, the body also has small curves. The figure was also sculpted with no arms, legs, ears or a mouth. The eyes are very big and close together. The limited use of color and the use of ivory to sculpt this figure shows the lack of resources during this time. Survival of the fittest was what the people in during this period focused on and also reproduction, hence the female figure of fertility. The figure being only sculpted of the just the body was probably important during this time. They didn’t care about women being beautiful but about their bodies and the wellbeing of them because reproducing was important.
In 2001, the Tibetan Medicine Buddha Mandala was created by Deprung Loseling Monks of Kamataka, South India. A mandala is made of concentric circles and squares representing the symbolic home of a deity. It is very rare to find a preserved sand mandala. They are used as tools for meditation and aid in spiritual development. A sand mandala is only intended to last a couple of days but this particular mandala was preserved with permission by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. Usually, the mandala is ritually dismantled because the ultimate function is to represent impermanence. His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama decided to preserve his mandala as a gesture to promote peace and harmony (San Antonio Museum of Art). The Tibetan Medicine Buddha Mandala is made of many different shapes, overall forming a big circle and also has various different vibrant colors that are equivalent to the colors of a rainbow. Its medium is made of thousands of pigmented marble sand grains. None of the pieces are glued down. Each shape used forms a picture, which is believed to have some importance to His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama and the Dalai Lamas before him. I believe that this art work shows the patience, hard work and dedication of this culture. They took their time on something that was very important in their culture that had important meaning. Viewing these pieces in the museum affects its appreciation greatly, the Tibetan Medicine Buddha Mandala more so than the Female Figure though. The Female Figure is a very simple piece that I believe you don’t necessarily need to see in a museum. The figure is very small and dull due to the lack of color. The only thing the viewer cannot fully appreciate about this piece is being able to see all the way around it. The viewer also cannot fully appreciate the intricate details to the face because you wouldn’t be able to see it up close being that it is small. On the other hand, there are many things about the Tibetan Medicine that the viewer cannot fully appreciate without seeing it in a museum. The first thing is the size, this mandala was very big in person. Being able to walk around the whole thing and look at it from multiple angles and see each different part made me have a great appreciation of the piece. The way the light was fixed on the mandala, some of the grains had a sparkle effect, this is something you would have to be in the museum to view. The colors were so vibrant due to the lighting which is why the piece caught my eye in the first place. I believe that viewing any piece of art in a museum makes the viewer have a greater appreciation of that piece, though some may have a greater appreciation than others.

Works Cited
Drepung Loseling Monks of South India. "Tibetan Medicine Buddha Mandala". Created: 2001.
San Antonio Museum of Art. Art descriptions of "Tibetan Medicine Buddha Mandala". Read in: November 2015.
“Female Figure”. Egyptian, Predynastic Period. Created: 3600-3200 B.C.

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